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The Effects of Marijuana on ADHD

The Effects of Marijuana on ADHD 1

Society sees cannabis enthusiasts as people who know the answer to every question in this world, and this answer is usually “what?” That being said, a stoner is not a textbook model of cognitive performance, least to say. So when a humble group of scientists decided to take the bull by the horns and explore cannabis as an alternative treatment method for attention deficit disorders, the community of researchers didn’t seem to share their enthusiasm.

Nonetheless, the group of brave doctors, encouraged by medical marijuana patients claiming that cannabis has the potential to improve their ability to focus with no side effects of prescription stimulants, sought to take a close-up look at this phenomenon from the scientific point of view.

 

What is ADHD?

 

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Source: Friendship Circle

ADHD is known as the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Let me depict this phenomenon this way – imagine hearing a person talk but having no clue what that individual is actually saying. You can understand these words, but for some reason, they sound blurred in their meaning. After that, you become bored with the conversation and you start looking for other activities, of which you become eventually bored, too. People with ADHD experience restlessness and emotional instability, which may be seen disruptive by society. First symptoms of this problem are visible when children begin to encounter serious difficulties in school.

ADHD is commonly treated with prescription stimulants which, apart from being “successful”, have a long tail of side effects, such as almost unbearable headaches, the lack of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. Furthermore, these stimulants, which are based on amphetamine and methylphenidate (see: Adderall and Ritalin) are strongly addictive – a young

metabolism, which is crucial for preventing the ADHD symptoms from deteriorating due to not ingesting any food for a long period of time.

While this research and anecdotal evidence may be not enough for prescribing cannabis for ADHD, researchers are positive about the potential of the herb in treating this disruptive condition. If marijuana is finally rescheduled on the federal level, there is hope that further, more in-depth research to prove the effectiveness of the drug may be conducted in the future.

ADHD patient, Antonio Rodriguez, who was diagnosed with this condition at age six, was just one of many victims of such treatments.

 

ADHD and Marijuana

 

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Source: Burn TV

According to the research from 2014, people who experience hyperactivity tend to choose medical marijuana over other drugs. More interestingly, those with ADHD are 50% more likely to use cannabis at their adolescence when compared to peers who don’t have this condition.

So what’s the effect of marijuana on the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?

A brain of a person with diagnosed ADHD shows the irregularity of dopamine’s production, a chemical neurotransmitter responsible for regulating cognitive processes, such as attention and memory. According to Dr. David Bearman, cannabis increases the availability of dopamine, having the same effect as Ritalin or Adderall. On the other hand, unlike these two prescription drugs, it doesn’t come with a myriad of disruptive side effects and withdrawal symptoms.

For ADHD patients who suffer from the chronic restlessness, cannabis appears to improve their sleep. This can prove helpful in helping these patients overcome the side effects of the above-mentioned drugs (Adderall and Ritalin). Marijuana is also a strong appetite stimulator, making food taste better and causing your body to release hunger hormones, let alone the increased

metabolism, which is crucial for preventing the ADHD symptoms from deteriorating due to not ingesting any food for a long period of time.

While this research and anecdotal evidence may be not enough for prescribing cannabis for ADHD, researchers are positive about the potential of the herb in treating this disruptive condition. If marijuana is finally rescheduled on the federal level, there is hope that further, more in-depth research to prove the effectiveness of the drug may be conducted in the future.

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